Overcoming Objections To Evidence-Based Persuasion
June 28, 2016
by Dan Solin
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“Evidence-based persuasion” is exactly what the name implies. It describes the methodology I created for maximizing the number of prospects you can convert into clients. It doesn’t rely on my opinions or the musings of others. Rather, it’s based on hundreds of studies in peer-reviewed journals. I compiled these studies in a 64-page bibliography in The Smartest Sales Book You’ll Ever Read.
You’d think advisors would embrace a process supported by overwhelming evidence. While many advisors have done so, I still meet pockets of resistance. Here are the most common objections, followed by my rejoinder.
I can’t imagine not taking notes in a prospect meeting
A critical part of evidence-based persuasion involves changing the tone of a prospect meeting from a lecture to an opportunity to get to know the prospect as a person.
Notes are barriers to interpersonal communications. The very act of taking notes dampens the tone of the meeting. It inhibits spontaneous communication.
I tell advisors who are nervous about not taking notes to think about their meeting with a new prospect like a first date. On a first date, would they take notes? Would they bring along someone else to take notes? Of course not. Will they forget anything important? Probably not.
I recently accompanied a colleague to a meeting with a large prospect. It was a struggle to get him to agree not to take notes. The meeting lasted four hours. After the meeting, he dictated what he could recall and sent me the transcript. It was very comprehensive. He didn’t forget anything.
Notes are a crutch. You don’t need them.
I’ll never have an opportunity to present
Advisors commonly lament the loss of an opportunity to present the merits of their services. I tell them to rejoice if this occurs. It means the prospect has spent the meeting talking about himself or herself. The chances of converting this prospect into a client became very high.
As a practical matter, this rarely occurs. There will come a time when the prospect will ask you questions. At that time, you should answer them directly and briefly, and follow up with this question: Does that answer your question, or would you like more details?
This process has many advantages. Instead of assuming that what you are saying is of interest to the prospect, you’ll know it is because you will be responding to a specific query.
By empowering prospects to talk about themselves, you’ll create an atmosphere of trust, understanding and confidence. Given the choice between being perceived as “technically brilliant” or “interested and understanding,” you should opt for the latter.
I tell my coaching clients they can either be perceived as the smartest person in the room or get the business. It’s tough to do both.